Hijacking Australian 2019 Bushfire Tragedies to Fearmonger Climate Change

Guest post by Jim Steele, director emeritus of the Sierra Nevada Field Campus, SFSU and author of Landscapes and Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism.

As is customary now, whenever tragedy strikes, the internet buzzes with articles blaming climate change. Hijacking the tragic Australia’s bushfires was to be expected. For instance, Microsoft’s MSN website just published “Climate deniers are cooking themselves — and everyone else”. They wrote, “Fires get worse when things are hot, dry, and windy, and climate change has provided all of those conditions in abundance. The continent has warmed by about 2 degrees Fahrenheit (a bit over 1 degree Celsius) since the 1970s, and in keeping with the predictions of climate models, Australia has experienced steadily worse droughts and heat waves over the last 30 years. The current drought may end up being the worst in history — this spring was the driest ever recorded on the continent, and back on December 18 it set a new record for the hottest day ever measured with an average temperature across the entire country of 105.6 degrees.”

How truthful is MSN? Indeed, Australia is experiencing hot dry summer weather. The map below (Figure 1) shows that most of Australia experienced temperatures far above average for December 18, 2019. But curiously the east and west coasts, as well as northern Australia were experiencing temperatures several degrees below normal. If global warming was driving the extreme wildfire season, we would expect the worse fires to be located where temperatures were warmest. But as the map of wildfires reveals (Figure 2), the warmest regions had the least wildfires, while the most fires were happening in the cooler regions. Averaging Australia’s temperatures to deceptively blame global warming for the wildfires only obscures the regional temperature effects.

Figure 1 Australia December 18, 2019 temperature anomalies.

 Figure 1 Australia December 18, 2019 temperature anomalies.

Figure 2 Locations of Australia's 2019/2020 bushfires. https://www.newsweek.com/australia-wildfire-map-update-bushfires-sydney-new-south-wales-1480207

Figure 2 Locations of Australia’s 2019/2020 bushfires. https://www.newsweek.com/australia-wildfire-map-update-bushfires-sydney-new-south-wales-1480207

MSN’s climate fearmongers dishonestly claim “Australia has experienced steadily worse droughts.” Climate fearmongers argue warmer temperatures will evaporate surface moisture more quickly and exacerbate droughts. But they have the tail wagging the dog. Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology’s illustration (Figure 3) shows the 1920s and 30s had experienced much worse droughts than recent decades. Furthermore, during periods of low precipitation, drought conditions CAUSE higher temperatures. Without normal soil moisture to evaporate, solar radiation is no longer consumed as latent heat of evaporation, but instead, rapidly raises land temperatures.

Figure 3 Australia average annual precipitation from 1900-2018. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/history/rainfall/?fbclid=IwAR2fUMmwkIr9NvJaxaNWpB1h8vaP8aNP9Aim27yGJ6r8xxcHc-lmuxdIFJg

Figure 3 Australia average annual precipitation from 1900-2018. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/history/rainfall/

The greatest 2019/2020 burned area is concentrated along the eastern coast in the states of New South Wales and Victoria. Both areas are known for habitat that is very susceptible to extreme fire danger. But are the recent fires than worse ever? History says NO! In February 1851, the Black Thursday bushfires incinerated about five million hectares (about 1,900 square miles). Around 12 lives, one million sheep and thousands of cattle were lost. Temperatures reached record extremes of about 47°C (117°F) in the shade. In contrast, MSN attributes the 2019 December fires to a misleading average temperature across the whole country of 40.6°C (105°F).

If temperature and precipitation cannot be attributed to the increasing trend in wildfires, what other factors should be considered? As in California, Australia has experience a tremendous increase in human ignitions. Arson is a huge problem. As government investigations reveal (Figure 4), deliberately set fires account for 66% of all ignitions, while only 11% of all wildfires are due to natural lightning ignitions.

Figure 4 Cause of wildfire ignitions. https://aic.gov.au/publications/bfab/bfab021?fbclid=IwAR0QhXu6Wpu_z4d1VPDTxkJoANeck7oZCqheKbf2z8Z7T2XIC646xHbDTbY

Figure 4 Cause of wildfire ignitions. https://aic.gov.au/publications/bfab/bfab021

Furthermore to the north, tropical and subtropical regions are being invaded by foreign grasses that are easily ignited and provide greater surface fuel continuity allowing fires to spread over greater areas. Likewise, humans must manage forest floor fuel loads. The easiest solution is prescribed burns. However, that solution is often resisted because people do not want to experience the accompanying smoke. But until prescribed burns are allowed to be judiciously applied, the public becomes increasingly vulnerable to larger more severe wildfires as endured in 2019.

Bad analyses always promote bad remedies! Blaming rising CO2 concentrations and global warming is only misdirecting real efforts to minimize wildfire destruction. What Australia and the world needs to address is 1) human ignitions, 2) invasive grasses and 3) fire suppression that allows surface fuels to accumulate and enable large intense and destructive fires to wreak havoc like never before!

Advertisements

127 thoughts on “Hijacking Australian 2019 Bushfire Tragedies to Fearmonger Climate Change

  1. I.m going to forward this to The (Glasgow) Herald.
    Not holding my breath that they’ll use it, though.

      • Well Oldseadog, not to worry – that Marxist rag cannot punctuate either.
        That article is ok but why not mention the lunatic greenies who prevent scrub management like the Australian natives did for thousands of years by doing controlled burnings?
        When people build houses in the bush, they should live by bush rules.
        It reminds me of the idiots who build houses in flood plains here in the UK and are then surprised when they get flooded.

        • And you can’t even build with flooding in mind because all houses have to be disabled access friendly. So no raising the house up and having steps to the front doors or ramps with a steep gradient.

        • ” the Australian natives did for thousands of years by doing controlled burnings? ”

          Sorry but that is PC rubbish. The myth of the Utopian culture you hear about in many countries around the world.

          They had no way of putting the fires out. They raged for months instead. Allowing for the Eucalyptus tree to eventually dominate a once very diverse forest ( as they come back very quickly from fires and out compete the other trees. )

          Then when it was turned into farms by colonialists, they pulled up the remaining tress, even those around the rivers, and speed up the time water stays in the soil.

          The fact is what we are seeing in Australia is a combination of 60,000 years of humans abusing the land Everyone has blood on their hands on this one.

          • Lloyd you’ve never seen the Aboriginals doing a burn and you have no idea of exactly what the makeup of the Australian bush was that long ago .
            Unless of course you were around back then !

          • Sorry Lloyd but you’ve been misinformed. Indigenous Australians managed controlled burns off according to seasons and they used slow and cool burn techniques that meant fires didn’t teach extreme thermal temperatures (which incidentally form their own weather systems within the fires exacerbating fires) and only reached 1.5-2 metres high. This allowed fuel loads to be destroyed responsibly and animals to escape the blaze, while ensuring a food supply on their return as the tree canopies were left intact. Do your research before making assumptions. There have been trials lead by Aboriginal communities within the last five years in fire prone areas across Australia that proved this works and indeed these areas have been spared the catastrophic fires we see now.

          • Plus the fact the indigenous Australians didn’t live in the forests during summer if it caught fire from lightning I imagined it just burned til it rained.

  2. I think that people forget how far north Australia is, if it were reflected into the Northern Hemisphere then it would extend from Chad (10 degrees north) to Croatia (45 degrees north) It would extend across the Sahara to Saudi Arabia, so why are people alarmed by the temperatures reached during the austral summer? In Europe temperatures can reach 40 degrees in the centre.

    • Truly ‘man made’ wildfires…. occurring within the normal variability of natural cyclic climate change.
      ‘Never let a perceived crisis go to waste’, eh? Wonder how long it will be before our resident boy troll ‘stokes’ the alarm in crying “Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!”?

    • And you can blame the msm fior much of that as their relentless, 24-7 coverage is little more than bushfire porn. The sad little arsonists are able to light their fires then go home and watch their handiwork create havoc on TV, all day, all night, all week. Its little different to the msm free bublicity to terrorists.

  3. Blaming Global Warming simply motivates radical activist to start wildfires to hold up as proof of concept. You don’t need a psychology or sociology degree to understand that.

    If the government and media called out arson and did real root cause problem solving they would first extinguish the silly notion that Climate Change is causing wildfires, we could do a much better job of controlling the problem.

    I suggest, as a first course of action, is to burn arsonists at the stake on public television.

    • Bill Powers

      “If the government and media called out arson and did real root cause problem solving they would first extinguish the silly notion that Climate Change is causing wildfires, we could do a much better job of controlling the problem.”

      Luckily, AUS PM Scott Morrison had a far better idea than is imho yours.

      From a German online news (translated by Google’s tool):

      “Extreme heat and strong wind make the life-threatening fight against the devastating bush fires in Australia difficult. West of the metropolis of Sydney reached 48.9 degrees, in the capital Canberra 44 degrees, as the weather service announced on Saturday.

      Gusts of up to 80 km / h fuel the flames. Given the scale of the disaster, criticized Prime Minister Scott Morrison mobilized 3,000 reservists from the armed forces to assist the fire department. The death toll has now risen to 23, and several people are also missing.”

      Rgds
      J.-P. D.

    • Indeed. This had already been the case for the recent Amazon fires, many of which were confirmedly started by some devious NGO members over there. Yet one could not hear a peep from idiots like Macron, Greta and DiCaprio.

      • Ric

        “… many of which were confirmedly started by some devious NGO members over there.”

        Would you please present a valuable source confirming your incredibly harsh accusation?

      • Have you every heard of hyperbole Seadog? You apparently need a bit more aging.

        I refuse to remove my tongue from cheek to appease old wokescolds.

        I suggest instead that you relax that “old” sphincter it does wonders for ones disposition.

  4. The real reason for the recent dried out brush is high UV, represented by the UV Index. I’ve noticed in the US whenever UVI is high for an area the daytime summer temperatures soar as it has down under.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/fwo/IDY00508.gif

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/map/uv-index/uv-dec.png

    https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/uv_index/uvi_map.gif

    Today’s composite UVI average for the 58 US locations is 1.6.

    Australia is a big desert because of intense sunlight desiccating everything.

    We have wildfires in the US from high UVI too. It’s natural.

    • No point spending money on prescribed burns, let it burn naturally it has been for 100,000 years before we arrived.

  5. Jim Steele brings reason and the scientific method. Alarmists bring mostly hand waving and screaming. Think people Think. Do not allow yourselves to be bum rushed into destroying your own quality of life by self serving temple priests.

  6. Jim Steele, you are a rational human being in an irrational world. When cheatgrass spread through northern Nevada the summer wildfires quickly got out of control. A wet spring and a dry summer and off you go. This arson aspect is one of the current liberals tools, for instance, on Christmas Eve outside of Valparaiso, Chile, an arsonist set a fire that destroyed 250 houses. Merry Christmas! What for? Somehow it was supposed to make the point that some people have more than some other people, although this logic is lost on me.

  7. Human beings have been deliberately burning the Australian Outback for 50,000 years. They did so to control vegetation, drive game, promote crop plants, create firewood, and prevent catastrophic entire landscape burns that would have compromised their survival.

    It wasn’t until Europeans arrived that Aboriginal land management was curtailed and fuels began to accumulate. The lessons of 50 millennia were discarded. Pride and prejudice supplanted ancient wisdom. The price is being paid today by stubborn people who are mired in denial of traditional ecological knowledge.

    If you do not manage, tend, care for, garden, look after, and/or minister to the vegetation, it will grow and then burn vigorously. This is the lesson. Will they ever learn it? Will we?

    • The aboriginals burnt small patches, frequently, not long after the end of the rains. That all changed when the wise Europeans arrived.

      The folks blaming CO2 for all this are betraying their own ignorance.

    • Aboriginal firestick farming as it is often misleadingly called was indiscriminate and used simply to flush out food animals. Once out of control they had no means to deal with it so in no way was it management of bush as claimed.
      Over thousands of years the practice totally changed the ecology of the land and many native plants and animals died out. We are left with swathes of Australian forests that are monocultures of trees that can regenerate after being burnt. Most are eucalpts that actually explode because of their sap in a crown fire spreading burning embers for kilometres.
      Indigenous fire practices are partly to blame for the current devastation not a remedy for it in future.

      • Read this and see if you still think that:

        Bowman, D. M. (1998). The impact of Aboriginal landscape burning on the Australian biota. The New Phytologist, 140(3), 385-410.

        Go via google scholar, it’s free to read. Be interested to know what you think.

      • Andre is another expert on firestick farming that has never seen it done , can you name me one burn just one done by Aboriginals that still practise the technique that’s got out of control .
        Fire was used to clean the land , open it up and stop wildfires .

    • Here in N.CA … we have cut down all the non-native Eucalyptus trees that burn like Roman Candles. The East Bay Hills used to be covered with them … until … the Oakland Hills Fire which incinerated people and the weed species of trees which grew to 150ft tall.

      Perhaps Australia could simply remove every single Eucalyptus Tree on the continent? Makes as much sense as removing all the petrol from the planet

      • I am in the Santa Barbara area of California this week and took a drive over a nearby pass to see the other side. The number of gum trees astonished me. I had no idea they were so numerous on this side of the Great Pond.

        There is a Monarch Butterfly stopover point in the City that has been overrun by Eucalypts and the butterflies apparently love it. Next we will hear about a fight between the Monarch conservators and the tree species purists who want to cut them all down.

        One thing sure, this place looks a lot better with millions of huge trees, even if they are foreigners, like most of the humans.

        • I too live in the Santa Barbara area and work in the brush control business. The County already protects the non native eucalyptus species in certain locations for the benefit of the butterflies. You would be amazed at the hell we’ve gone through over cutting and mulching these pyrotechnic wonder called eucalyptus

  8. “December 18 it set a new record for the hottest day ever measured with an average temperature across the entire country of 105.6 degrees.”

    Average? Did they average the fire impacted locations with the rest? This doesn’t pass the sniff test.

    • @Jim Steele
      “If global warming was driving the extreme wildfire season, we would expect the worse fires to be located where temperatures were warmest. “

      Hello? Sort of like, “Hey, it’s hotter in Death Valley than in the mountains of Northern California, but the latter has more forest fires.”

      You don’t see a problem with this line but of reasoning?

      • Snape what you’re saying is the same point he’s trying to make. And it’s also true about Australia. The geologic history of fire in the Quaternary in Australia is a story about vegetation types not temperature.

        • No, my point is that Jim’s premise doesn’t make any sense. Let me fix it:

          “If global warming was driving the extreme wildfire season, we would NOT NECESSARILY expect the worse fires to be located where temperatures were warmest. “

      • Snape, what doesnt make any sense is the climate alarmists are using an average temperature for all of Australia to explain the fires. I agree the hottest places are deserts where fuel is limited, and thus less fires.

    • Rob_Dawg

      How much is your ‘snifftest’ worth? Near Sydney, they have just below 50 °C, don’t they?

          • According to http://www.accuweather.com Penrith’s highest temp Dec-Jan was 47 on Jan4 2020.
            But I’m sure it would have passed that at the Gosper’s Mountain bushfire in the Wollemi National Park north of Penrith.
            I drove to Bathurst over the Blue Mountains (a mountain range abutting Penrith) recently and the road branching off to the north was closed due to the bushfires. On the highway you couldn’t see more than a few metres either side of the road due to the smoke.
            Monday of last week I drove to the north-western end of the National Park but had to go around it instead of through it. I got to a possible short-cut and was told “yes it’s open but watch out for fallen trees and rocks on the road”.
            No thanks I’ll go the long way.
            My nephew drives from Brisbane (capital of Queensland) to Melbourne (capital of Victoria) a couple of times a week and he said it’s a smoke haze all the way – 1680 km.
            One good thing is that the fires will eventually run out of fuel and it’ll be another 10-20-30 years before the undergrowth builds up to the level it was just before the fires got going.

    • “Did they average the fire impacted locations with the rest?”
      They didn’t measure within bushfires. In fact, it was just the average of the usual weather stations. For the whole country, including Tasmania. 105.9°F!. And before even the solstice.

    • Where I am in outer south western Sydney, it was 113+F yesterday.
      Today it is topping out at around 80F.
      Yesterday was westerly winds (off the desert), today is southerly (normal “cool change” pattern).
      Still enough smoke both days to shroud things in smoke more than about 1/2 – 1 mile away.
      Kinda reminds me of “cracker night” (fireworks) when I was a kid, but smells of burning trees instead of gunpowder 🙂

  9. Recent research has shown that the warming climate is increasing the occurrence of the positive phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) which is the primary cause of the drought. Climate change is also increasing temperature extremes, records are being broken by significant margins.
    Rainforest areas have burnt that would not normally see fire. Fire researchers are seeing behaviour never seen before.

    • “Recent research”. References? For exactly how long has the IOD actually been identified, let alone researched? Surface temperatures as recorded in Australia are less than reliable, and temperatures will always be higher in droughts.
      You have been viewing or reading too much of the media drivel.

      • Last I seen we have had 10 of one and 11 of the other since measuring started and there is absolutely no pattern between negative phase and positive phase IOD .

    • Much of the recent research has been based on the Acorn temperature set. Many Australian weather station records have been ‘homogenised’ Explaination here: https://jennifermarohasy.com/acorn-sat-for-dummies/

      The BOM has hidden 50 years of very hot days. See here: http://joannenova.com.au/2019/10/the-australian-bureau-of-met-hides-50-years-of-very-hot-days/

      Rainforest areas in Australia have not been burned. The closest fires came to rainforest was in the dry and wet sclerophyll forests with lots of Eucalypt associations and massive fire loads. It is mis-informative to suggest that rainforests burn. That is the domain of The Guardian and other leftist rags liberal with the truth.

      Here in South East Queensland the ABC and Guardian reported rainforest burning but it only took one day for the locals to set the record straight! See here: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/science/false-alarm-the-great-rainforest-fire-that-wasnt/news-story/1c24f7245f6ff74385be112567c79198

      “But the Gondwana rainforests, those priceless relics of times long gone, did not burn. No news coverage showed rainforest burning. The 20,600ha Lamington ­National Park in Queensland and the adjoining 31,700ha Border Ranges National Park in NSW ­encompass the largest expanse of subtropical rainforest in the world. As on countless occasions over the centuries, fire raging in surrounding eucalypt woodland did not ­destroy the rainforest.

      To be sure, bushfires of such ­intensity in the region are unusual, especially in early spring; 16 homes were lost in southern Queensland. Unlike southeast Australia with its hot and dry summers, the subtropics are usually ­afforded a degree of protection by high humidity, an absence of prolonged periods of scorching temperatures, and generous rainfall which — as in much of the country — has been in short supply lately.

      Binna Burra Lodge is not encircled by rainforest, as was claimed repeatedly. The lodge is surrounded on three sides by eucalypt woodland; it came close to being lost when a control burn 20 years ago got away. This time, ­explains Binna Burra chairman Steven ­Noakes: “The fire went tearing up a steep slope through eucalypt woodland and we’re perched on a ridge at the top. With those winds there was nothing we could do.””

      (Rescued from spam bin) SUNMOD

  10. Higher CO2 means faster growing vegetation, which means faster growing amounts of combustable forest litter and detritus. Coupled with an unusually strong Indian ocean Dipole (strongest for over 60 years) and a reduction in pre burning requested by the green lobby, which would have reduced the accumulation of combustable material leads, to perfect conditions for many wildfires. CO2 is implicated but not as climate change.

  11. How can they blame increased co2 for the fires? co2 is used to extinguish fires. Seems to me if they had more co2 in the air the fires wouldn’t burn so intensely.

    I suggest they fire-up as many coal burning facilities as they can and see if the fires decrease over the next couple months. It would have the added bonus of decreasing electric bills.

    • Not many in Australia care about any of that because even if true the CO2 levels are not in our control.

      There are two major thoughts
      1.) We are going to need more resources and organization to combat fires going forward
      2.) We are going to need more control burns and changes in laws for land owners to do and be able to do more

    • And for every molecule of extra CO2 created in the atmosphere we have lost a molecule of O2…yes the Oxygen concentration in the atmosphere is decreasing just as steadily as CO2 is increasing! And of course we all know how important O2 is in the fire triangle. Decreasing O2 decreases fire intensity..not to mention how much we rely on it to sustain life. it amazes me that we focus so much on something so hard to measure and so variable as the climate, when something so important as the O2 concentration is declining year after year…no noise to argue about..every year it is going down.

  12. However one analyses the Australian bushfires the green argument loses out when you ask , Do you really think that if we had more solar panels or windmills or a carbon tax the current bushfires would not occur or be less intense? Only a delusional devotee to the climate change gods could believe such action would’ve made a difference.
    With global emission reductions being more than offset by China and India Australia’s action is basically a exercise in futility. As it is Australia has one of the highest ,if not the highest level of solar panels uptake in the world and is one of the few Countries on track to meet its Paris agreement targets. Fires need fuel and a spark neither of which are any different to the past. What is different is the high incidence of arson and the failure to engage in responsible fire management practices that has made such ferocious fires inevitable.

  13. “The map below (Figure 1) shows that most of Australia experienced temperatures far above average for December 18, 2019. But curiously the east and west coasts, as well as northern Australia were experiencing temperatures several degrees below normal.”

    This is just fakery. The fires shown in Fig 2 are for the whole summer, and are not determined by the temperature on December 18. 2019. In fact the worst fires in northern NSW and Qld began in September 2019, and were at their worst in November.

    • And lets add the map that explains it all … here is the fuel load map in SEPTEMBER 2019 before the fores begin

      https://www.bnhcrc.com.au/hazardnotes/63

      Even if climate change is driving the problem Australia is going to have to do more about fuel loads getting to these risk levels. Hopefully many Enviromental groups may now have a rethink given the damage the fire has done to the very enviroment they supposedly were protecting.

  14. I see a lot of the comments here refer to the work of arsonists. Yes, people light fires illegally, but the Australian bush is designed to burn, and burn it will, it’s just looking for a means to achieve that. The biggest problem with these fires is the lack of hazard reduction burning which causes hot, angry, uncontrollable results. Had the hazard reduction been previously carried out, we still would have the fires, but they would be cool and controllable, with minimum to no loss of property or life.
    That’s the issue, and hopefully, government will hear the message and act.

  15. Hijacking Australian 2019 Bushfire Tragedies to Fearmonger Climate Change

    Maybe some people do, no doubt, but those who were interviewed by Guardian AU certainly didn’t.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/19/419c-australia-records-hottest-ever-day-one-day-after-previous-record

    Dr Karl Braganza, manager climate monitoring at the bureau, told Guardian Australia: “Natural variability and global warming are pushing in the same direction. That’s why we have broken records.”

    And it’s continued with

    .
    Dr Andrew Watkins, head of long-range forecasts at the bureau, identified three key factors that have pushed temperatures to record levels – two of them natural, and one of them not.
    .
    Australia is currently feeling the impacts of one of the strongest Indian Ocean Dipole events on record.
    When the IOD is positive, the waters off Australia’s north-west are cooler, dragging moisture away from the continent and leaving very dry conditions.
    .
    On the flipside, Watkins said parts of east Africa had seen devastating impacts from flooding rains, in particular in Somalia, Ethiopia and South Sudan.
    .
    “That positive IOD has kept things very dry in winter and spring,” Watkins said. “That sets us up with an extremely dry environment. It has been the second driest year to date and the warmest year to date.”
    .
    A second natural driver, Watkins said, was a negative phase of the Southern Annular Mode that was kicked off by warming of the atmosphere high above Antarctica.
    .
    The SAM had helped drive the extreme heat in NSW and Queensland, Watkins said, adding to the extreme fire danger. This has also brought drier and warmer air across the continent on westerly winds.
    .
    SAM events usually only last a few weeks, but Watkins said this event had been present since October.
    “All of this is leading to central Australia baking,” he said. “There’s nothing there to evaporatively cool the air.”
    .
    He said an example of this heat was revealed in forecast temperatures in recent days of between 43C and 45C for Alice Springs.
    .
    “When I see those forecasts I say, ‘wow.’ Because Alice Springs is 550m above sea level. 45C half a kilometre up is pretty insane.
    .
    “Meteorologists will say that you get roughly 1C per 100m of elevation so we know that means the air at the surface would have been in the high 40s.”
    .

    *
    No, such people I wouldn’t name ‘highjackers’…

    Rgds
    J.-P. D.

    • RE The Guardian:
      **Climate change pushing heat

      Underlying these two major drivers of the heat is climate change – the simple physics of loading the atmosphere with extra greenhouse gases, mainly by burning fossil fuels.

      Australia’s latest State of the Climate report shows the country has warmed by just over 1C since 1910, leading to more extreme events.

      Watkins said: “That long-term warming sees the bar lifted up so that it’s easier to get extreme conditions now than it was 50 or 100 years ago,”

      “One part of me says that this is amazing but then another says that we have seen this in other parts of the world so we’re not especially surprised.”

      He pointed to France’s heatwave of June 2019, when Montpellier hit 43.5C, breaking its previous all-time heat record set in August 2017 by a huge 5.8C.

      “I’m not sure we are shocked by much any more.”

      Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, a climate scientist at the University of New South Wales specialising in extreme events, said climate change had given the natural drivers of Australia’s record -breaking heat “extra sting.”
      Sign up to the Green Light email to get the planet’s most important stories
      Read more

      She said without the extra CO2 in the atmosphere “it would still have been warm”, but, she added: “I doubt very much we would have seen a record on Tuesday and then another one on Wednesday. And we are still at the beginning of the summer with a long way to go.”

      On Thursday, she was driving through thick smoke haze in north-west Sydney with her family.

      She said: “It is frightening and a little frustrating, but this is what climate scientists have been saying for decades.

      “I’m bordering on saying ‘I told you so’ but I don’t think anyone really wants to hear that.”
      As the climate crisis escalates…

      … the Guardian will not stay quiet. This is our pledge: we will continue to give global heating, wildlife extinction and pollution the urgent attention and prominence they demand. The Guardian recognises the climate emergency as the defining issue of our times.

      You’ve read 6 articles in the last four months. We chose a different approach: to keep Guardian journalism open for all. We don’t have a paywall because we believe everyone deserves access to factual information, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.

      Our editorial independence means we are free to investigate and challenge inaction by those in power. We will inform our readers about threats to the environment based on scientific facts, not driven by commercial or political interests. And we have made several important changes to our style guide to ensure the language we use accurately reflects the environmental catastrophe.

      The Guardian believes that the problems we face on the climate crisis are systemic and that fundamental societal change is needed. We will keep reporting on the efforts of individuals and communities around the world who are fearlessly taking a stand for future generations and the preservation of human life on earth. We want their stories to inspire hope. We will also report back on our own progress as an organisation, as we take important steps to address our impact on the environment.

      We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as £1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.**
      More NONSENSE from the Guardian. Notice that they said it has warmed 1 deg since 1910.
      Why 1910? Because the BOM is hiding the records before 1910.
      But sharp Tony Heller has found them. So you will notice that it was hotter before that. So there is nothing new here other than the usual “blame it on CO2 and global warming”

      **Last year in Australia was the hottest and driest on record, with the average annual temperature 1.5 C above the 1960 to 1990 average, according to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology. Temperatures in Australia last month hit 49.9 C.**
      What record? How many years?
      Check 1906: https://realclimatescience.com/2019/12/bom-hiding-the-heat-in-australia/

      “Climate change” Is it the same as “global warming” Where is the engineering quality study proving it?
      **A 2019 Australian government brief report on wildfires and climate change said, “Human-caused climate change has resulted in more dangerous weather conditions for bushfires in recent decades for many regions of Australia.**
      That is called “weather”, which cycles between dry and wet.
      **“The heat makes the fuel drier, so they combine for something called fire weather. And that determines “fuel moisture,” which is crucial for fire spread. The lower the moisture, the more likely Australian fires start and spread from lightning and humancaused ignition, a 2016 study found.**
      “humancaused ignition” – Yes, most of the fires have been caused by humans. NOT ONE was started by “climate change”
      **Australia’s drought since late 2017 “has been at least the equal of our worst drought in 1902,” Australia’s Watkins said. “It has probably been driven by ocean temperature patterns in the Indian Ocean and the long term drying trend.”**
      There you have it. The hot dry weather has been cycling for decades or hundreds of years. Was it “climate change “ in 1902?
      ** “The fires over the last three months are unprecedented in their timing and severity, started earlier in spring and covered a wider area across many parts of Australia,” said David Karoly, leader of climate change hub at Australia’s National Environmental science Program. “The normal peak fire season is later in summer and we are yet to have that.”**
      Has he checked the history over the last 200 years?
      **Q: ARE PEOPLE STARTING THESE FIRES?

      How many of these are accidental? How many are arson? Have you checked how many people are facing charges? VERY SIGNIFICANT NUMBER. But the media in Canada is not reporting that.
      **This is what global warming of just over one degree C looks like. Do we really want to see the impacts of three degrees or more are like, because that is the trajectory we are on.”**
      Here is more unsubstantiated commentary. The long term history of temperatures in Australia shows no significant trend. We have a prediction based on an ASSUMPTION that CO2 has caused and will cause most of the temperature change.

      Black Thursday in Australia:
      https://realclimatescience.com/2019/02/february-6-1851-black-thursday-in-australia/
      Hiding the past:
      https://realclimatescience.com/2019/09/why-bom-hides-temperatures-before-1910/

      Why BOM Hides Temperatures Before 1910
      Posted on September 21, 2019 by tonyheller
      I have added the ability to combine stations to my software, and it becomes obvious why BOM hides all temperatures before 1910. They were very hot.

      • Gerald Machnee

        OMG what a horrifyingly long, redundant comment.
        I think it will be enough to reply to your

        “They were very hot.”

        Let me answer with a few numbers, originating from NOAA’s GHCN daily. They come from the top 100 of a descending sort of all daily TMAX reports made by stations in Australia.

        1. Years 18xx

        +ASN00048013 ___BOURKE_POST_OFFICE_________ 1878 1 13 49.7
        +ASN00074128 ___DENILIQUIN_(WILKINSON_ST)__ 1878 1 12 49.6
        +ASN00074128 ___DENILIQUIN_(WILKINSON_ST)__ 1863 1 5 49.4
        +ASN00048013 ___BOURKE_POST_OFFICE_________ 1878 1 19 49.2
        +ASN00076077 ___MILDURA_POST_OFFICE________ 1896 1 24 48.9
        +ASN00076077 ___MILDURA_POST_OFFICE________ 1892 2 19 48.9
        +ASN00048013 ___BOURKE_POST_OFFICE_________ 1888 12 13 48.9
        +ASN00048013 ___BOURKE_POST_OFFICE_________ 1884 1 7 48.9
        +ASN00048013 ___BOURKE_POST_OFFICE_________ 1884 1 16 48.9
        +ASN00055023 ___GUNNEDAH_POOL______________ 1882 1 24 48.7
        +ASN00074128 ___DENILIQUIN_(WILKINSON_ST)__ 1878 1 11 48.6
        +ASN00048013 ___BOURKE_POST_OFFICE_________ 1896 1 19 48.6
        +ASN00048013 ___BOURKE_POST_OFFICE_________ 1896 1 15 48.6

        2. Years 190x

        +ASN00076077 ___MILDURA_POST_OFFICE________ 1906 1 7 50.7
        +ASN00076077 ___MILDURA_POST_OFFICE________ 1906 1 6 50.1
        +ASN00048013 ___BOURKE_POST_OFFICE_________ 1903 1 4 49.7
        +ASN00076077 ___MILDURA_POST_OFFICE________ 1906 1 24 49.4
        +ASN00076077 ___MILDURA_POST_OFFICE________ 1904 12 31 49.4
        +ASN00052026 ___WALGETT_COUNCIL_DEPOT______ 1903 1 3 49.2
        +ASN00004020 ___MARBLE_BAR_COMPARISON______ 1905 1 11 49.2
        +ASN00076077 ___MILDURA_POST_OFFICE________ 1905 1 1 48.9
        +ASN00048013 ___BOURKE_POST_OFFICE_________ 1906 1 7 48.9
        +ASN00048013 ___BOURKE_POST_OFFICE_________ 1906 1 24 48.9
        +ASN00048013 ___BOURKE_POST_OFFICE_________ 1904 12 30 48.9

        3. Years 20xx

        +ASN00078077 ___WARRACKNABEAL_MUSEUM_______ 2018 1 19 50.0
        +ASN00017123 ___MOOMBA_AIRPORT_____________ 2013 1 12 49.6
        +ASN00018201 ___PORT_AUGUSTA_AERO__________ 2019 1 24 49.5
        +ASN00004035 ___ROEBOURNE__________________ 2011 12 21 49.4
        +ASN00017123 ___MOOMBA_AIRPORT_____________ 2014 1 2 49.3
        +ASN00004106 ___MARBLE_BAR_________________ 2018 12 27 49.3
        +ASN00018044 ___KYANCUTTA__________________ 2019 1 24 49.2
        +ASN00006072 ___EMU_CREEK_STATION__________ 2014 1 10 49.2
        +ASN00005017 ___ONSLOW_AIRPORT_____________ 2011 12 22 49.2
        +ASN00005016 ___ONSLOW_____________________ 2010 1 1 49.2
        +ASN00005016 ___ONSLOW_____________________ 2008 1 11 49.2
        +ASN00004090 ___ROEBOURNE_AERO_____________ 2015 2 21 49.2
        +ASN00052088 ___WALGETT_AIRPORT_AWS________ 2014 1 3 49.1
        +ASN00016098 ___TARCOOLA_AERO______________ 2019 1 24 49.1
        +ASN00006072 ___EMU_CREEK_STATION__________ 2010 1 2 49.1
        +ASN00005017 ___ONSLOW_AIRPORT_____________ 2018 12 27 49.1
        +ASN00004106 ___MARBLE_BAR_________________ 2019 1 13 49.1
        +ASN00038026 ___BIRDSVILLE_AIRPORT_________ 2013 1 13 49.0
        +ASN00016098 ___TARCOOLA_AERO______________ 2019 1 15 49.0
        +ASN00012046 ___LEONORA____________________ 2013 1 9 49.0
        +ASN00006072 ___EMU_CREEK_STATION__________ 2009 1 10 49.0
        +ASN00005008 ___MARDIE_____________________ 2010 1 1 49.0
        +ASN00004106 ___MARBLE_BAR_________________ 2015 1 23 49.0
        +ASN00004090 ___ROEBOURNE_AERO_____________ 2011 12 21 49.0
        +ASN00004035 ___ROEBOURNE__________________ 2008 1 11 49.0
        +ASN00004032 ___PORT_HEDLAND_AIRPORT_______ 2008 1 11 49.0
        +ASN00018201 ___PORT_AUGUSTA_AERO__________ 2019 1 15 48.9
        +ASN00016098 ___TARCOOLA_AERO______________ 2014 1 1 48.9
        +ASN00005017 ___ONSLOW_AIRPORT_____________ 2008 1 11 48.9
        +ASN00005007 ___LEARMONTH_AIRPORT__________ 2011 12 23 48.9
        +ASN00005007 ___LEARMONTH_AIRPORT__________ 2010 1 2 48.9
        +ASN00004090 ___ROEBOURNE_AERO_____________ 2018 12 27 48.9
        +ASN00004090 ___ROEBOURNE_AERO_____________ 2003 1 21 48.9
        +ASN00077010 ___HOPETOUN_AIRPORT___________ 2009 2 7 48.8
        +ASN00047019 ___MENINDEE_POST_OFFICE_______ 2019 1 25 48.8
        +ASN00045025 ___THARGOMINDAH_AIRPORT_______ 2013 1 13 48.8
        +ASN00005017 ___ONSLOW_AIRPORT_____________ 2010 1 1 48.8
        +ASN00004090 ___ROEBOURNE_AERO_____________ 2008 1 11 48.8
        +ASN00038026 ___BIRDSVILLE_AIRPORT_________ 2014 1 2 48.7
        +ASN00016098 ___TARCOOLA_AERO______________ 2019 1 16 48.7
        +ASN00012090 ___YEELIRRIE__________________ 2017 2 3 48.7
        +ASN00005017 ___ONSLOW_AIRPORT_____________ 2014 1 8 48.7
        +ASN00005017 ___ONSLOW_AIRPORT_____________ 2003 1 21 48.7
        +ASN00005016 ___ONSLOW_____________________ 2011 12 22 48.7
        +ASN00005008 ___MARDIE_____________________ 2003 1 21 48.7

        *
        Oh you might think that the list for the years after 2000 is longer because there are many more stations active than in the years 18xx till 190x? No problem!

        Average temperatures (this time for the top 1000, more informative)
        – 18xx: 48.04 °C (13 reports)
        – 190x: 47.93 °C (42 ” )
        – 20xx: 47.77 °C (492 ” )

        Don’t tell me you will consider an average difference of 0.16 °C resp. 0.27 °C to be soo relevant!

        So much about “Why BOM Hides Temperatures Before 1910”.

        Rgds
        J.-P. D.

        Source: ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ghcn/daily/

  16. TVNZ just repeated on last night’s evening news an item from the BBC that claimed the changing IOD (Indian Ocean Dipole) is responsible for the long Australian drought currently in operation. But its worse than that. Without a shred of evidence the dear old BBC claims that this has been brought about by man made global warming! Who woulda thunk it?

    They may be right in the first instance, and ENSO must be a big player in this as well (New Zealand is currently experiencing another cold summer similar to 2017 BTW), but the propaganda it stinks, especially when it rammed down our throats by a govt. controlled media entity. Many gullible people in NZ still trust the BBC because they don’t see it day in day out like the folks from the UK.

  17. Ultraviolet (UV) / Ozone Frequently Asked Questions

    http://www.bom.gov.au/uv/faq.shtml

    Is there any link between the temperature and UV levels?

    There is no link between UV levels and how hot or cold the temperature is. There are differences between UV levels during Summer and Winter, but this is mostly due to the angle of the sun in the sky. UV levels generally peak around the middle of the day, whilst the temperature may still be rising towards its maximum in the afternoon. The graph below outlines this relationship.”

    http://www.bom.gov.au/images/uv/tempuvgraph050108.png

    I guess I know whom to trust first concerning UV…

    Rgds
    J.-P. D.

    • Why don’t you do some science? I have and find high UV and high temps go together. UV levels correlate with seasonal insolation and low water vapor, with high levels over time producing an increase in dry heat.

      Does the low UV in Australian winter correspond to high or low temps? Answer: low

      Does the high UV in Australian summer correspond to high or low temps? Answer: high

      One condition precludes the other. The highest temps occur only in the summer and vice versa.
      The BOM explanation is, therefore, nonsense, as is any faith in it. They don’t tell you enough.

      Towards summer I’ll bring forward my work on UVI and temperature.

      Every single year when high UVI rears its head in the US and temps climb, out come the warmists in force with claims of man-made warming doom again. The situation in Australia now is the same.

      • Does the low UV in Australian winter correspond to high or low temps? Answer: low

        Does the high UV in Australian summer correspond to high or low temps? Answer: high

        See? By Occam’s razor you don’t need UV.

        • Funny, except there is no high UV in winter, nor low UV (ave) in summer…

          One condition precludes the other, so the BOM described an impossibility.

          I sincerely hope you’re not trying to imply the UVI and summer heat aren’t related.

          They’re both primarily dependent on the same variables, zenith angle, optical depth, water vapor, cloud fraction, and aerosols. You don’t have one without the other.

    • Bob Weber

      “Towards summer I’ll bring forward my work on UVI and temperature.”

      Great! I am looking forward to your for sure highly scientific statements.

    • UV levels generally peak around the middle of the day, whilst the temperature may still be rising towards its maximum in the afternoon.

      The graphic they (you) posted excellently makes the point I made about dry heat and UV, as it was for the day of the perihelion, Jan5, 2008, in a solar minimum year like now, similar conditions. The heat on that fabulous day lasted six hours past peak solar, twice the average as shown below:

      http://www.chanthaburi.buu.ac.th/~wirote/met/tropical/textbook_2nd_edition/media/graphics/daily_temp_lag.jpg

      There are differences between UV levels during Summer and Winter, but this is mostly due to the angle of the sun in the sky.

      I sincerely hope you’re not trying to imply the UVI and summer heat aren’t related because that would be very foolish since they’re both primarily dependent on the same variables, zenith angle, optical depth, water vapor, cloud fraction, and aerosols.

      June 20, 2016 High UVI drives US southwest heat wave:

      https://www.dropbox.com/s/2ztihhkcq1o2uof/2016%20uvi.jpg?dl=0

      https://www.climatesignals.org/events/southwest-us-heat-wave-june-2016

  18. There was a lot more red on the 120 year Australian Rainfall diagram90 to 120 years ago than now. Why so?

  19. With great delight I spotted the Long Paddock Rainfall Poster above.

    For well over two decades I’ve had one on my wall and have given them for presents to many friends. You can order one for yourself here:https://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/rainfall-poster/

    If one looks carefully at the poster it’s very clear. No two years are the same. There is no discernible trend to reinforce the climate alarmist hypothesis that climate change is driving extreme weather.

    The most bizarre bit of news is that Robert Mann has arrived in Australia and is attempting to leverage the bushfires to his own ends. What a joke…The failed climate scientist Mann channelling failed Environment Minister Peter Garrett.

    • For those unfamiliar with Australian practices, when a farmer is encountering drought conditions and can’t keep their sheep or cattle fed, they put them on the road, which is referred to as the ‘long paddock’. The pay a drover to keep them from straying, and each council receives a fee for agistment.

      Unfortunately, more and more green councils means that this practice happens much less to preserve ‘species variability’.

  20. “Recent research”. References? For exactly how long has the IOD actually been identified, let alone researched? Surface temperatures as recorded in Australia are less than reliable, and temperatures will always be higher in droughts.
    You have been viewing or reading too much of the media drivel.

  21. From Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald …
    “There are, on average, 62,000 fires in Australia every year. Only a very small number strike far from populated areas and satellite studies tell us that lightning is responsible for only 13 per cent. Not so the current fires threatening to engulf Queensland and NSW. There were no lightning strikes on most of the days when the fires first started in September. Although there have been since, these fires – joining up to create a new form of mega-fire – are almost all man-made.”

  22. There are a few things going on here.

    Australia relies on Great Artesian Basin , which feeds the aquifers of the entire continent. This is being drained of its annual monsoonal waters by the frack wells of mining companies extracting coal seam gas.. As the continent becomes more dry, the temperature rises and entire river / forest ecosystems which depend upon the Great Artesian are dying out.

    Then there are the multi-national agribusinesses of the Murray Darling Basin. The aquifers of this river system draw upon the Great Artesian and so have a lower volume to draw down due to the frackwell drainage in the North. The farmlands in the south are not getting enough water through their river and creek system because all of the water is being siphoned off to dams that are privately owned by mega agricultural companies and mega mining companies using this water for private operations.

    So there is no drought based on precipitation, but there is less water.

    Then of course one must consider the possibility of pyroterrorism. During very bad fires in 2009 this was treated as a real possibility. No speculation this time despite the government saying arson is behind some of the fires. Perhaps ecoterrorism to get countries to take “climate change” more seriously. Something to think about

    • How about some proof of your claims Pft? The fracking wells would use minuscule volumes of water compared to the artesian bores some of which still remain uncapped.

      You suggest that “The farmlands in the south are not getting enough water through their river and creek system because all of the water is being siphoned off to dams that are privately owned by mega agricultural companies and mega mining companies using this water for private operations” What proof do you have? The Murray is still flowing and all irrigators have an allocation. The environment also has an allocation!

      As of 17 December 2019 “Flows in the Murray River are being driven by water demands requiring releases from upstream storages, resulting in flows of up to 12,780 megalitres per day at Doctors Point, upstream of Albury. https://www.mdba.gov.au/managing-water/drought-murray-darling-basin/murray-darling-basin-drought-update

      Pft!

  23. Furthermore, during periods of low precipitation, drought conditions CAUSE higher temperatures.

    It is nearly impossible to disabuse people of the notion that deserts are dry because they are hot rather than being hot because they are dry. Most people do not understand the incredible capacity of water to absorb and release heat energy through evaporation and condensation phase change. The phase change energy is nearly 1000 BTUs per pound. It takes only 1 BTU to change the temperature of 1 pound of liquid water 1 degree F. It takes only 0.29 BTU to change the temperature of 1 pound of air 1 degree F. Where it is very dry there is not enough water – liquid or vapor – to moderate temperature between day and night so incoming solar energy and out going LWR result in large temperature swings between day and night. 40 to 60 F temperature changes within 24 hours are not unusual.

    2 or 3 degrees C of average temperature change is meaningless in terms of either drying of vegetation during droughts or ignition of bush fires. It takes either an open flame of burning ember to ignite dry plant matter – temperatures of at least 480 C (900 F). Climate change does not cause wild fires – nature and people do.

    • I never did understand, that there are profs in the world telling us day for day, the heat is resposible for bushfires. One of these profs, from PIK, well known here telling us, cullate may initiate fires. (proven false)
      They certainely have no idea, how (bush)fires may happen in European or North-American winter. Just in wintertime, rel. hum. may drop at only 5% under certain weather conditions, so there is what we call draught.

      • Where did winter fires occur in the cold under low UVI? Where’s the data?

        All the 5 worst Aussie fires goldminor listed happened near peak summer heat.

        4/5 were during solar min, the other, solar max.

        The current drought is due to ongoing low solar activity, low TSI shallow ocean heating resulting in less tropical evaporation. A similar condition is occurring in the US now, with drought now creeping back in, in spite of last year’s rain and snow.

        https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/data/png/current/current_usdm.png

        https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/expert_assessment/month_drought.png

        Drought is an obvious factor for natural fires of sun-dried fuel.

        The post article probably wouldn’t have made the connection to climate change if there was no warmth involved. The warmth, the dry fuel, the high UVI, are all connected to conditions the current low TSI sun has established, ie low evaporation and hence low water vapor/precipitation that enables higher insolation, the two main factors causing drought.

        Also, these conditions paradoxically lead to near-simultaneous cold and heat records.

          • In climate-speak: fires are more likely to happen in the summer when or after it’s hot, but they can happen anytime. In Australia, fires are a matter of UV.

            Winter fires do happen but that’s not in Australia or the US. I’ve already presented sufficient evidence that indicates summer heat and low rain leads to drought and the most prevalent fire conditions.

            Cold by itself doesn’t lead to drought. Cold doesn’t dry. Summer heat dries the fuel.

            The fact that a fire started when it was cold really proves nothing by itself, and certainly doesn’t preclude necessary prior warming/drying when UV and summer heat was high, preconditions for drying in the first place with low rain.

            PS per your request MgII is going on the solar min plot.

          • @Bob Weber
            Cold by itself doesn’t lead to drought. Cold doesn’t dry. Summer heat dries the fuel.
            In wintertime most plants are dry, no photosynthesis, no sap in the trees, dry, dead leaf on the grounds, dry fuel as much as you want too.
            There exist weather conditions with dry air about 5% rel. humidity:

            Such fires at untypical times of the year are no longer a surprise for Christian Schunk. The scientific assistant in the Department of Ecoclimatology at the Technical University of Munich has already investigated several events of this kind. In 2011 and 2015, forest fires occurred in Upper Bavaria in autumn and winter. Each time, the fires were preceded by a similar weather situation, which is called inversion, because it is colder in lower altitudes than at altitude. “On some mountain slopes, we even had temperatures above zero at night,” says Schunk. In addition, the overall humidity was very low. At Garmisch-Partenkirchen, even only five percent humidity was measured. “In other weather conditions, we would have doubted the functionality of the sensor with such values.” It’s seldom so dry, even in summer.
            Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

            <a href="https://www.sueddeutsche.de/wissen/waldbraende-wieso-waelder-auch-im-winter-brennen-1.3317913"<source (german)
            You can peg out washing in winter for drying without any problems.
            In concern of cold and dry you are completely wrong, sorry.
            Only draught is responsible for fire, and mostly an idiot with matsches.
            Normaly in winter it’s wet, as in autumn too, so there are not so often fires in winter, that’s all.

          • PS
            Due to the dry and often sunny weather, forests and soils have dried up. “The dead grass that grows between the trees in summer dries quickly in the winter air, which is low in moisture,” says Franz Binder, an expert in silviculture and mountain forests at the Bavarian State Institute for Forestry and Forestry. “It burns like tinder, if only a spark falls on it.” At Jochberg, it was probably a campfire started by hikers.

            Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
            Same source as in the post before, the tranlation above is the follow up of the new translatet text.

          • Yes that’s all true and thank you. But we were talking about Australia and we’ve gotten far from that. As I said before 4/5 of the top Aussie fires were in their summer, during high UVI.

            I have provided direct evidence for why the 4/5 top Aussie fires and others occur. I did not say bush/forest fires can’t or never happen when it’s cold, so I feel like you’re talking about something else. Thank you for not doing that anymore.

            I cut a lot of ‘green’ firewood from a logging cut from last winter that was pretty dry from the sap being in the ground when the trees were cut down. Dry vegetation in the autumn/winter happens annually, drought or not, everywhere to some degree. The fires we’re talking now about are happening in the Australian summer.

            Australia is a very different situation than the USA and Germany because it’s on the tropic of capricorn. Brazil is different too.

            https://imgs.mongabay.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/20/2019/08/25182311/monthly_hotspots_amazon_20190824.jpg

            Someone would have to show me some data for Australia fires by month for me to be convinced their winter has more fires. Here’s the info you have to beat, which shows December as the peak fire month, in their winter, during the solstice month:

            https://www.envcomm.act.gov.au/__data/assets/image/0019/591004/fire1.gif

          • There are fine differences in drought chances and fire seasons in Australia:

            https://scx2.b-cdn.net/gfx/news/2019/123-climatechang.jpg

            https://wildfiretoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Australia_3-month-precip.jpg

            As I previously said cold by itself doesn’t lead to drought, ie cold wet winters don’t. Cold must be accompanied by lack of moisture, ie dry air, for recently dead vegetation to dry and burn. It’s not always dry when it’s cold.

            The 2011 & 2015 Upper Bavarian autumn and winter fires you mentioned happened when TSI was high. The other part of my wildfires research findings involves high irradiance drying, drought and fires that happen before the high TSI drives an El Nino(s) that increases wetness reducing fire risk ( El Nino lags high TSI).

            https://www.dropbox.com/s/uel7g9kkmb3tm7a/2011-2016%20sc24%20maximum%20sorce%20tsi.jpg?dl=0

        • @Bob Weber
          What I wouldt tell is only, that the causation for fires is draught, not the heat. It’s right, that in general autumns and winters here are wet, so no fires will happen.
          But as often, the hazard enters the game, so I can show you actual dry conditions in the Alps in Switzerland (rel. humidity)
          https://kachelmannwetter.com/ch/messwerte/schwyz/luftfeuchtigkeit/20200105-2100z.html

          So, in general we have forrest- and bushfires mainly in sommer too, jun-sept. often even oct. – seen last year, as result of weather patterns that led for some weeks hot dry air from Sahara over Europe. That doesn’t happen every year.

    • goldminor

      Absolutely correct. But since the stuff was produced in Nov 2011, they hardly could have informed us about… 2019.

      • Here is a bit from the opening paragraph ” … Bushfires, although a part of the Australian landscape for millions of years, have a wrought a significant amount of damage, some far worse than others.
        Worst fires have high temperatures, low humidity and strong winds …..
        The most devastating fires are usually preceded by record high temperatures, low relative humidity and strong winds, which create ideal conditions for the rapid spread of fire. ..”.

        So there are similar factors for all of the most damaging fires. The southeast corner of Australia was encompassed by dry atmospheric conditions. So there is the low relative humidity. Next is the strong winds to drive the fire. Last is an early heat wave, and the arsonists who took advantage of the conditions to create this firestorm.

  24. Overall, great article. However, this sentence is backwards:

    “If temperature and precipitation cannot be attributed to the increasing trend in wildfires, what other factors should be considered?”

    It should read as follows:

    “If the increasing trend in wildfires cannot be attributed to temperature and precipitation, what other factors should be considered?”

    In other words, the hypothesized causal relationship runs from temps to wildfires, not the other way around.

  25. I think too much emphasis is put on heat. The most important fire conditions are dryness, wind and fuel (and something to start the fire)
    Some deserts are cold, and some very hot places are wet.

  26. Deliberately lit fires have decreased by a factor of a million since white man came on the scene.
    And invasive grasses have nothing to do with catastrophic fires in Australia
    Its all about gum trees and tea tree having leaves full of flammable oils.
    Other countries have torn down valuable plantations because of the insane fire risk the pose.
    There are 100 million hectare of Eucalyptus forest in Australia, we probably need to burn 20 % per year.
    The current fires are not even close to the desired figure (on a non catastrophic level.)

  27. Says it all. When will we ever learn.

    Les Crowe
    19 November 2019
    I am writing this because I am appalled at the amount of near hysterical reaction to
    the recent NSW and Qld bush-fires. My reasoning is not so much about the fires or
    the people effected, but about whether “man made” climate change is the
    underlying cause. Before I go further, my stance is not so much a personal but
    rather a professional reaction.

    I begin by telling those of you who don’t know, for a period of some 40 years, my
    work as a loss adjuster was involved with natural disasters, ranging from Cyclone
    Tracey through to a lesser involvement in 2009. I was appointed as National Chief
    Loss Adjuster, an advisory role, to the Insurance Council of Australia on all natural
    disasters but particularly bush-fires. This role was interactive with all agencies and
    spanned more than 10 years. It was both proactive in planning stages and reactive
    after the event. I was heavily involved in the 1983 Victorian fires.

    I acknowledge the advice of The Bureau of Meteorology and the Climate Council, is a reality to the effect the projected changes to climate, was derived from modelling, which strongly suggested change would occur unless man made contribution was reduced,.

    Somehow or other, sections of our communities, have taken control of the scientific argument about the future and have interpreted it to mean the change has already occurred. Not so. Records I have seen, actually show that the slight upward trend in temperatures on a global scale seem to be in direct line with the earth’s ever occurring”natural” climatic change patterns. History shows numerous ice ages, when the planet cooled, to corresponding heating up periods, over billions of years. This has always occurred. It is the nature of our planet and cannot be influenced by what man can or cannot do. On the other hand, the impact of humans is a future projection, well founded on scientific modelling.

    The true position, despite all the comments about what the current fires mean in a
    climate change scenario, is nobody can tell if there is any connection.

    What I can tell you with absolute certainty is that these fires , as bad as they were,
    are no more intense, widespread, dangerous or unexpected in outcome, to many
    previous and historic events . There is no accurate method to measure such
    outcomes. However, it is possible to look at prevailing conditions and contributing factors to seek patterns or influential factors.

    Take a look at the following comparative data, much of which has been ignored by
    the frantic argument to directly link man made climate change to the outbreak and
    effects of these latest fires. I detail some of the arguments I have heard go
    unchallenged or are simply ignored and unreported, particularly by the ABC who
    are the appointed official national disaster communications service.

    This the first time such fires have been rated as catastrophic.. True, but not
    because they were rated any worse than many previous fires. In 2009, following the bush-fire inquiry, the defined categories of fire were renamed. Catastrophic
    was introduced as the most severe warning. So this description was never
    intended to make people think they were the worst fires ever. I have heard many
    media reports entrench this mistake

    The fires are occurring earlier because of climate extending the summer risk.
    Can only be applicable in the North. However, NSW has a long history of
    November and December bush-fires. In 1944, the Blue Mountains lost 27 homes
    and other property in November. Since then, I can recall at least 3 other similarly
    timed events in NSW. So this year was not unique, as has been strongly inferred by
    many reporters. In southern areas, January and February have historically been
    prone to outbreaks.

    These fires are the most widespread and worst ever. They certainly were
    disastrous. However, it is impossible to compare unless it can be based on raw
    data…. Have more lives been lost than ever before. No, although 1 is far too many,
    in 2009, 173 people died. In 1983, 75 people died. In 1962, 62 people died. In
    that decade one of the victims in Eltham North was George Crowe, my Grandfather
    and Grandma’s father in law. In 1967, it was reported that 2,600 square
    kms of land was devastated in just 5 hours (Just try to imagine that ferocity).
    In 2009 there were 2030 homes destroyed and in 1983 there were 6,000 homes
    and other buildings destroyed.. Does this define which fire was the worst. NO.
    All fires are bad but to try and claim the current fires are the worst ever is a blatant
    disregard for historical fact. Worse still, it is a deliberate attempt to scare people
    into accepting the fanatical side of the global warming argument, by accepting
    radical changes to our economy, power generation and mining {let alone agriculture
    and transport} must occur right now and in a premature manner. The so called re-definition of the predicted changes into an emergency, is a way to virtually destroy our entire way of life.

    The fires were started as a result of climate changed conditions. Clearly wrong.
    80% of fires were started by people either deliberately or accidentally lighting them.
    Dry lightning strikes have been long recorded and are nothing new.

    What has our Media and ABC generally ignored. One of the most clear data
    based facts, reported out of the 2009 Inquiry, was the finding that fire intensity is
    proportional to and severely aggravated by fire loads created by undergrowth and
    forest floor debris accumulation. We can’t control wind and heat but we can
    control fuel load. Ask any active Rural or Country serving fireman what they think of this hazard. Then ask your Green Party representative, why they have influenced
    the management of National Park maintenance, as well as local government reserves, to leave far too much of the forest floor intact at any cost. Winter back burning,
    firewood removal and general debris clearance has been widely restricted by stupid
    laws. They argue it preserves natural ecosystems that rely on such decaying
    material. Well, systematic removal of this fuel load may well disrupt some
    Eco-systems, consider this;. A bush-fire positively destroys them all.

    The only identifiable and recently introduced risk factor, is the environmental law
    changes that have impacted a fire’s intensity potential and capacity to burn faster and hotter.

    Find this hard to believe, Go into a forest and try setting fire to a living gum tree
    with a match. Now stoop down and see if you get any better results from the dead
    and therefore dry undergrowth at your feet. This is the effect ember spread has
    on adjoining bush-land.

    There is much more to say about bringing sanity back into discussions and I have my own opinion that if you believe the science of global warming, stick to the science and ignore the fanatical self professed experts, like some of the current crop of Green Party politicians and shrieking media, self appointed, experts. No, before it can be said. I was not self appointed in my former career positions.

    I can only reflect that the handful of ex-firemen who were paraded before the media, may have had other agendas. The spokesman listed his current occupation as a “Climate Change Consultant”. Another said outright, on camera, that fires have always been linked to climate change. I prefer to listen to our Indigenous community who talk of bush-fire management over thousands of years. – oops before any hint of an industrial age, meat production or mining.

    • 1. Summed up perfectly.

      2. The ABC should be interviewing you.

      3. I live in Melbourne, I have all my life and this is a typical summer. 5-6 beautiful days, 1-2 stinking hot days

    • Very well said Les. There are a lot of people with deep knowledge, long memories and history of our landscape that agree 100% with you. A lone voice of common sense. Sadly, while the left media keeps peddling “fake news” eventually people think it is correct. Keith Windschuttle’s books highlight the same issue in the reporting/writing of history. What’s that old saying, “never let the truth get in the way of a good story” or something like that.

  28. 5 million hectares is actually 19,300 sq. miles just to put things more in perspective .
    That’s bigger than a lot of countries .
    Common sense burn offs would reduce these major seasonal outbreaks by 90% area probably .

  29. Not just Australia: the BBC is hawking ‘climate chaos’ based on drought in parts of Africa.

    As if droughts in Africa never happened before. Bob Geldof was high on acid all through the 1980s after all….

    There really is a case to be brought against the BBC charging them with criminal misconduct in masquerading as a news organisation when they have predetermined policy positions driving their every report. Climate chaos IS happening; until the GE, the EU WAS our saviour; Russophobia was engrained, especially during Skripalgate; and there has never been a disgusting woman, black, jew, muslim or homosexual. Let alone vegans or transsexuals…….

  30. I sent the last WUWT post on these fires to an unfortunate alarmist who challenged me. He classified it as “Misleading Information from an obscure website” A severe case of CO2 Meme infection methinks.

  31. Here’s a ramble I knocked together including some bits pinched off the net:

    Now, more facts and truth.
    Speaking at the United Nations, 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg said that if humanity really understands the science of climate change and still fails to act, we’re “evil.” This is because climate change means “people are dying.” Helpfully, she also told us what we must do to act correctly: In a bit more than eight years, we will have exhausted our remaining allowance for carbon emissions, so we must shut down everything running on fossil fuels by 2028.

    While this claim is not uncommon, it is fundamentally misguided.
    Her vision of climate change as the end of the world is unsupported. The UN’s IPCC estimates that by the 2070s, the total effects of climate change, including on ecosystems, will be equivalent to a reduction in average income of 0.2 to 2 per cent. But by then, each person on the planet will be 300 to 500% richer.

    We don’t emit CO2 with malign intent. Indeed, it is a byproduct of giving humanity access to unprecedented amounts of energy.

    Just a century ago, life was back-breaking. Plentiful energy made better lives possible, without having to spend hours collecting firewood, polluting your household with smoke, achieving heat, cold, transportation, light, food and opportunities. Life expectancy doubled. Plentiful energy, mostly from fossil fuels, has lifted more than a billion people out of poverty in just the past 25 years.
    That’s not evil – it is quite the opposite.

    Greta believes that climate change means people are dying.
    Well let’s look at that hmm?
    The facts are that weather-related disasters just a century ago killed half a million people each year.
    Today, despite rising temperatures but because of less poverty and more resilience, droughts, floods, hurricanes and extreme temperatures kill just 20,000 people each year – a reduction of 95 per cent.
    That’s a morally commendable achievement you must agree.

    Then let’s say we’ll all go along with the plan of ending global fossil-fuel use by 2028 to let teenagers like Greta Thunberg get their childhood back.
    Sure, if we’re all really really stupid, we can stop all forms of travel from bicycles to cars to tractors on farms, to trains and buses, to all forms of shipping including cruise ships and pleasure craft like yachts, to all aircraft etc, the list is endless when you put your mind to what we use oil and coal for, oh and air-conditioning because it can get really hot in many places around the world, no more houses can be built – and want to die early yes we can do that. Until we all die much younger I guess you might think it might even be fun to live like cavemen used to do.
    Millions of people including the super rich with their private planes and mega yachts will be most annoyed – all that money and suddenly it’s worthless as they can’t go anywhere. All the kiddies throughout the world will have to walk to school more than likely barefoot and in raggedly clothes.
    Most, if not all shops will close as the operators have no way of getting goods delivered let alone getting customers in.
    But yes it can be done if we put our minds to it.

    But back in realityland it’s a totally flawed plan because there is no energy technology invented that doesn’t require fossil fuels oil and coal to build it in the first place.
    Even if those in control back down and say we can still use just enough fossil fuels oil and coal to build thousands of wind turbines, billions of solar panels, hundreds of nuclear plants, even those aren’t at the development required where they can take over what fossil fuels leave behind. Not forgetting that wind turbines and solar panels have a fairly short lifespan before they need replacing/major overhauls.

    A hard by-hook-or-crook transition would cause a real, global catastrophe, sending most of us back into back-breaking poverty. That’s why developing countries, especially, want more fossil-fuel power, not less; they want to lift more people into comfortable lives.

    Do you really think China and India will be delighted millions of their citizens are back into poverty?

    Greta Thunberg told us that if we don’t cut off fossil fuels by 2028, the young generation will never forgive us. This, however, is reflective of a blinkered first-world view. When the United Nations asked 10 million people around the world in 2015 what they prioritize, they highlighted five issues: health, education, jobs, corruption and nutrition. In sum, they care about their kids not dying from easily curable diseases, getting a decent education, not starving to death.
    Climate came last of 16 choices. That’s not because it is unimportant, but because for most of humanity, other issues are much more pressing.

    “..the young generation will never forgive us.”
    I’d say that most of the world’s young will never forgive us if we prioritized climate above our duty to tackle poverty, health, education and nutrition.

    They don’t march in the third world for climate change.
    How many people standing in Soviet food queues are worrying about air and river pollution? None. They were all worrying about whether they’d get a pork knuckle to go with their mouldy potatoes.
    How many mothers standing in NZ Foodbank queues are worrying about plastic bags in the ocean? None. They’re all worrying about whether they’ll get enough food from the foodbank to keep their children alive for a few days.

    The real facts around the climate change hysteria – it’s only wealthy people that can afford to worry about the environment etc.

    But the biggest problem with “climate change” is that it has completely stolen the oxygen from real environmental issues and other issues of importance.

    Until Climate Activists tell the truth – that they are really advocating Socialism and dressing themselves up as environmentalists – then there is no hope of a science based approach.

    • Correct. The only thing I would point out is that next generation nuclear reactors are by far the most viable way of maintaining human civilization

  32. I live in Melbourne, Australia, I have all my life. There is nothing unusual about the weather this season. 5-6 beautiful days, 1-2 stinking hot days.

Comments are closed.